This is the first in a series of “Getting to Know” posts that feature one of our TrustedPeer experts discussing developments in their area of expertise. We’re kicking the series off with  Steven Feinberg, who has over 20 years of experience consulting with clients in need of outsourced manufacturing worldwide, including from China, Taiwan, South Korea, Poland, Israel and the U.S.. 

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  1. Why did you decide to join TrustedPeer?  
    Although my companies, SF Global Sourcing and SF Video, are sourcing and manufacturing companies, a lot of companies that work with me aren’t buying in large volumes; sometimes they just want to pick our brains. So TrustedPeer, being a consultancy company, is another way for me to commoditize this knowledge.
     
  2. What are you most excited about in sourcing and manufacturing right now?  
    I’m really excited that manufacturing is coming back to the USA. With labor rates in India and China rising, the US is becoming more competitive, and creating predictions of insourcing. And the flip side to this is that I’m not excited about China becoming less competitive, because I source so much there. China has invested so heavily in their infrastructure, the quality and consistency of their goods has risen over the years. But with this quality increase, the costs have increased. So you get what you pay for.

  3. How has technology changed manufacturing and sourcing?   
    It has really increased communication. I can Skype or hop on a call with China in real time now. So as long as I’m okay staying up those hours, I can get so much more done internationally in real time.

    Also, I’ve noticed a lot of people talking about the Industrial Internet lately. The Industrial Internet is a term GE coined that refers to the connection between physical machinery and software, and the data that this connection serves up. I can see this trend being transformative for manufacturing in general. 

    In my own day-to-day work, I’m particularly interested in seeing how my customers utilize the video distribution platform I provide. I think it's just as interesting to sift through individual data around product features as it is to sift through the big data that the Industrial Internet can provide. The idea being that your next generation product can fulfill needs that the feedback and data surface.

  4. Can you tell us about an “aha” moment in your career/work? 
    When I figured out that my main function as a manufacturer is to translate what’s in a product developer’s mind into a real life object. This realization led to us creating a more rigorous process called the WOW process, which standardized our approach to translating a product creator’s vision into reality. It’s an iterative process that allows me to take a vague statement from an inventor or product creator like “I need a DVD, you know what I mean…” and turn it into a physical product. This process that become my core expertise, and a part of my company’s DNA. 
     
  5. If you had a crystal ball, where would you predict the future of Manufacturing Strategy/Supply Chain going? 
    There’s a continual pendulum swinging between manufacturing your own product and outsourcing it. I see the future as more of a hybrid approach where companies are manufacturing their core product, and then outsourcing ancillary goods. Each company will need to create their own criteria for what makes sense here, but this is the gist. 

    To read more on Steven's manufacturing expertise or to book an Expert Session, visit his Meet The Expert page on our site.